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Feeling gassy, burping, need to take water to digest food. Reduced alcohol intake. Withdrawal symptoms?

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Practicing since : 1997
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I used to consume alcohol on a regular basis (twice or thrice a week). I've restrained from it for close to 6 weeks now. At first I felt all brisk and happy.
For the past 2 weeks I'm having trouble with my dietary cycle. I feel gassy and burp a lot (I struggle while I burp, I get the feeling that I'm going to burp but it takes a little time for the burp to come). I've to take in lot of water otherwise I struggle to digest/take in more food. I'm not sure if this has to do with alcohol withdrawal symptoms or if it is something else. Please advise.
I can feel my dietary cycle improve but the improvement is way too slow.
Posted Tue, 11 Sep 2012 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Banait 25 hours later

Thank you for your query.

First, congratulations for getting rid of liquor. Not only it at times spoils personal and social life, it also damages the liver and pancreas. No doubt, it is the topmost cause of liver related death and transplants.

The alcohol withdrawal syndrome develops shortly after stopping liquor consumption in patients who are dependent on it. By and large, the initial symptoms occur in first week and lasts for couple of weeks. Therefore, if you have not experienced any trouble in last two weeks, it is unlikely to develop now.
It will be of utmost importance to know why you decided to refrain from alcohol, as many a time, the symptoms of liver disease or pancreatic pain is the cause for avoiding alcohol. I hope it is not the cause in your case.

The belching and bloating that you are experiencing may occur in variety of causes, e.g. at the onset of or because of poorly controlled diabetes, thyroid disorders, electrolyte disturbances, or as a cause of acid peptic disease. It may occur because of some viral or bacterial infection involving intestine. In that situation, you may develop bowel irregularities and if not serious, should recover in a week or two. Rarely serious problem like ulcer disease or a malignancy or liver disease may produce these symptoms.

If the symptoms last more than couple of weeks, I would advise consultation with your physician or gastroenterologist.

I hope I answered your query adequately. Had there been any further question, I would be happy to answer it.

Vaibhav Banait, DM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Feeling gassy, burping, need to take water to digest food. Reduced alcohol intake. Withdrawal symptoms? 10 hours later
I got rid of the work pressure which was driving me towards liquor hence was able to steer my mind away from liquor. I was drinking for 1 year and excessive drinking was towards the last 4 months only.
I went to a party yesterday. Couldn't refuse liquor ( didn't want to seem impolite). Had 2 cups of beer and the bloating and burping is gone just like that... The beer isn't the strong type either, it is the fruity Belgian type brew...
now I'm a little confused...
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Banait 18 hours later
I understand that you did not want to be impolite, but at the same time, it is important to avoid. The way out is to say you are avoiding on healthground and offer to take a soft drink.
The bloating disappeared after liquor. So it may represent a mild withdrawal syndrome, a bit atypical, but not uncommon. So if you continue to abstain, it will disappear in due course.
Dr Vaibhav Banait
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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